11 charged in RI heroin trafficking ring

Eleven people are behind bars after a massive drug bust in Rhode Island.  

One by one, members of local and federal law enforcement lined up behind U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha, who got to announce the result of what they have been investigating for 8 months.

“Eleven alleged members of a Greater Providence heroin trafficking ring with alleged ties to Mexican drug cartels have been arrested on various drug and firearms charges,” Neronha said Monday.

From Providence to Pawtucket, Cranston to West Warwick, they arrested eleven people 11 last week. Neronha rattled off what they seized in addition to the 6 pounds of heroin.

“Four loaded firearms, 200 grams of cocaine, 12 vehicles and roughly $450,000 in cash,” Neronha said.

One of the accused criminals they caught is Vlady Tejada, a wanted FBI fugitive since 2007.

“Our collective goal was to disrupt a prolific trafficking ring,” FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers said.

Police arrested four of the individuals at a home on Johnson Court in West Warwick.

A woman who lives on the street, who wanted to remain anonymous, watched the raid happen from her home.

“I said hi guys, what's going on? And they said well, ten minutes ago you weren't safe, but you are now.”

She says police told her they were staked out in the woods across the street and had been watching the suspects for weeks.

“Where there is money to be made, they will operate,” Neronha said. “Rhode island is no different in that regard than anywhere else. Yet wherever and whenever they operate, we will hit back hard.”

The investigation is ongoing.